‘Sexual Healing’ is a monthly column written by Lauren Fleishman. Focusing on often overlooked and, at times, taboo sex topics, Lauren takes an explorative approach to the art of getting it on.
When I first moved to LA, I got my first job working on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. I was at that lowly point in my Hollywood career where you have to hustle and work 12+ hour days and always on point, which required a certain type of energy for me to be successful in the environment. I loved the hustle. I felt like a badass. I had a boyfriend at this time and life was cool except my sex life sucked. I mean really, it sucked. I never felt sexy and I never wanted sex. When I came home, my boyfriend, who didn’t have to work because he had family money (lucky) would make me dinner, give me massages and then I was so exhausted, we would go to sleep, cuddling like hyper cute little puppies pretending to be big dogs. At first our dynamic made me feel empowered because it was an interesting role reversal – he stayed at home and took care of our condo and dogs while I went to work in a fast-paced environment. We had sex about twice a week, yet, when we did it felt more on my end like an obligation, something I would just sort of do while imagining all of the other things I had to get done. It was sex but for so many reasons we couldn’t understand at the time, it was far from sexy.
The sex was bad for him, too. At the time, typical of society, we collectively assumed this must be my fault, since my general lack of interest in sex was something we discussed all of the time. It was perplexing. I am a sexual person, my boyfriend and I were best friends, super attracted to each other on multiple levels. We hung out everyday, shared stories, kisses, our pain, our desires, our families liked each other, blah blah blah. Both of us, similar in that we are unyielding in accepting anything less than deep connection, soul fulfillment and essentially the absolute best in life, recognized that because of my lack of enthusiasm, he too had become unfulfilled sexually and as a result, began to resent me because he didn’t feel desired.
Hello, recipe for relationship hell.
The relationship slowly deteriorated from there. He found other women who did find him sexy and I wallowed away in pain, not understanding where any of this went wrong. We tried to have sex more often, hoping this would remedy the problem, but something important was still missing. Both of us craved something more between us, although we couldn’t really figure out what “more” was. We eventually called it quits after two years, after many convos and even a stint at the sex therapist. I learned something essential at the sex therapist that I was only able to grasp much later. Increasing the frequency and learning new moves wasn’t helping the bad sex. What we were missing was something called “sexual polarity,” the essential ingredient to the ultimate thing we were craving: Enlightened sex.
Enlightened sex is the kind of sex where two people’s desire and arousal are high.
Both parties are present, breathe in sync, hearts beating as one with each partner willing to explore and devour the other with raw desire. Some people might have experienced this in the form of “lust,” but that’s the random fleeting version and it can be so much more. Enlightened sex works best and can be sustained between two partners who have established trust and love. Read: A REAL RELATIONSHIP. Not a dating app hook up or someone you fucked high on molly, GHB, or coke (all of which are substances that can simulate the feelings of enlightened sex). Enlightened sex works with anyone in a trusting relationship as long as both partners are conscious of and can control an underlying energetic dynamic called “sexual polarity.”
Sexual polarity is an ancient concept stemming from Tantric wisdom.
It’s best described as an arc of energy flowing between two people. It can be felt, but not seen. It’s similar to other forces in nature, such as the positive and negative sides of a battery which when put together properly create an electrical flow, or the north and the south poles of the earth, each side creating enough tension to create lasting magnetism, again felt but not seen. Sexual polarity is not necessary for love – we can love our pets, our moms, our friends and our favorite restaurants properly without a sexual current existing. Sexual polarity, I believe, is a key component necessary for initial and sustaining sexual attraction in romantic relationships.
In order to have sexual polarity between two people, one person needs to be in their masculine essence and one person needs to be in their feminine essence. All people have a spectrum that includes both masculine and feminine qualities in them. This means all men have varying degrees of feminine qualities to them, although most men suppress this as it is not widely accepted to express feminine qualities in Western culture (thankfully this is changing). Women also have masculine qualities (thankfully we have the choice to express this now, too). Gay, bisexual, he, she, zhe or they, we all have a spectrum of feminine and masculine energy within us that, if authentically expressed, brings us into energetic balance. Culture, family, circumstance and level of consciousness is what dictates how well aware we are of our own qualities which affects how able we are to nurture and express these qualities into the world.
So for example in the case of my relationship, my boyfriend and I had everything that seemingly makes a good relationship – like similar education, interests, aesthetic attraction, good conversation, and aligned lifestyles – except we were unsatisfied with sex because we did not have sexual polarity. After observing myself and playing with different roles, I learned my truest nature and essence is most comfortable in the feminine realm. Even though I relish and absolutely find joy in playing masculine roles, what was happening in our relationship was that I was exercising my masculine roles too much through working, doing, giving, and being aggressive while my ex, masculine by nature, was unable to switch out of the feminine role (nurturing, being, receiving). So even though there is technically an opposite effect of polarity happening, he in his feminine and I in my masculine, neither of us were being true to our purest essence – which would’ve looked like me being in my feminine and he in his masculine when we were together. This improper internal balance in both of us led to a deep energetic repulsion which resulted in bad sex.
The relationship between masculine and feminine energies is very similar to the taoist concept of yin and yang.
The idea is that we need to engage in the qualities of both energies to be individually and collectively balanced. David Deida speaks further and eloquently about masculine and feminine energies. “The interesting thing is that most of us, but not all of us, have a natural predisposition to be in one of the two sexual poles, and an attraction towards the opposite pole. For example, a woman that likes to be in the “masculine pole” will often be attracted by men or women that are manifesting the “feminine pole”. Again, this is not true for everybody: some people have a balance of both sexual poles, and they are attracted to partners of any orientation, often switching sides of polarity with the same or multiple partners. Generally speaking, it is common for men to have a predominance of the masculine polarity, and for women of the feminine, but this is neither a rule nor a necessity. In truth, it does not really matter which polarity each of the two partners takes, so long as they are willing to play out opposite polarities in a specific encounter. Why? Because when one of the partners “plays Masculine” while the other “plays Feminine”, then polarity arises and energy starts to circulate.” When energy starts to circulate, that is when we have attraction, lust, desire and that ravenous feeling light up in our brains, thus starting the whole chemical, physical and energetic experience of deep connected sex.
Gender is a bit of a performance.
In different scenarios in our lives we are called to behave in different ways, requiring us to either be more masculine or feminine in our energies. Generally speaking, most of us are completely unconsciously out of balance as our society rewards masculine energy behaviors in both genders. Who can work the longest! Who can drink the most alcohol and then coffee! Who is the smartest or the richest! These ideals are ingrained within each of us, so the steps to achieving enlightened and better sex are first playing with sexual polarity which means really understanding yourself and which essence you feel most comfortable in (masculine or feminine). From there, you can evaluate past relationships from this lens and perhaps change some patterns in the future. Everybody wants devouring, earth shaking, connected and fulfilling sex. Good sex is essentially the joining of proper balanced energies and if you want to introduce consistent passion, orgasms and better sex into your world, consider what is your predominant energy that you feel most comfortable in. It might be different than you think.